Located on the upper Sunshine Coast, Powell River lies about 145km/90mi northwest of Vancouver.
The oceanside, mountain-surrounded city lies 28km/18mi south of the village of Lund on the Malaspina Peninsula.
Lund is the northernmost point on Highway 101, the world's longest highway, which runs 15,020km/9,312mi down to South America. South of Powell River are such notable lower Sunshine Coast communities as Sechelt (106km/66mi south) and Gibsons (129km/80mi). Getting to Powell River involves a 50-minute ferry crossing between Saltery Bay and Earl's Cove.
Powell River is relatively isolated from other municipalities, and its geography is vast and pristine. The city sits on the eastern shore of Malaspina Strait, part of the Strait of Georgia. Powell River is surrounded by tall mountains, verdant inlets, and sparkling lakes. To the northwest lies the Bunster Range; to the east, the Smith Range, and further north, the Coast Mountains, all covered with cedar, fir, and spruce trees. Desolation Sound is to the north and Jervis Inlet to the south.
Powell River is well-known for its hiking and biking, especially along the 180km/111mi Sunshine Coast Trail. Provincial parks abound in the area, including Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park, Okeover Arm Provincial Park, Saltery Bay Provincial Park, and Inland Lake Provincial Park.